The headline to a recent article published by the Urban Land Institute says it all: “Downtown Dallas: A Turnaround Built on Parks, Arts and People.”
Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy is doing its part for parks, and the Dallas Arts District, the largest such development in the nation, has arts covered. But what about the people component? According to Downtown Dallas Inc. CEO John Crawford, the proof is in the numbers. “The major driver for the change was the residential component,” he says. “In the urban core we’ve got about 10,000 people living there, and in the greater downtown area there’s almost 50,000.”
Further, just last June, Chicago-based Amli Residential announced plans to convert a plot of land currently used for parking into a 40-story residential complex. Once completed, this Fountain Place-adjacent apartment high-rise will be the tallest in the Dallas skyline.
For the time being, however, Dallasites looking to make the move to more urban surroundings have plenty of options to consider. Here are some of the hottest properties in downtown Dallas.
The Butler Brothers Building
Long-time residents had grown used to the sight of this derelict former warehouse catty-corner to the main branch of the Dallas Public Library. But developer Alterra International has transformed this space and stocked it with modern amenities, ranging from energy-efficient appliances to a community gaming room. The nine-story Butler Building is currently home to more than 230 units. All unit floor plans are open, and applicants can choose from living spaces as small as 825 square feet to as large — and lofty — as 1,600 square feet.
Once one of the city’s architectural crown jewels, this exemplar of mid-century modern luxury has made the unlikely transition from The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “America’s Most Endangered Places” to one of the most anticipated and buzzed-about downtown developments. Centurion American Development Group has invested more than $200 million in restoring this iconic building, which last operated under the name of the Dallas Grand Hotel. The new complex carries that tradition forward and features more than 150 hotel rooms, as well as hotel amenities including restaurants, ballrooms and conference areas and even a live music performance venue. But it sports more than 200 permanent dwellings, too, from studio apartments to three-bedroom penthouses. The Statler’s rooftop pool affords residents a spectacular view of the surrounding neighborhood, which encompasses Main Street Garden, Fair Park and the Dallas Farmers Market.
Broadstone Farmers Market
In 2013, the city of Dallas made the decision to transfer management of the Farmers Market to a public/private partnership. This decision has been a boon to the Market and the local businesses that sell produce and boutique goods within the Market’s various indoor and outdoor spaces. That economic revitalization has proven to be an attraction to downtown residents as well.
Located in close proximity to both the Farmers Market and the funky Deep Ellum neighborhood just east of Good Latimer, the Broadstone’s style is a bit more industrial than posh. The four-story, 300-unit building was completed in 2007, but it’s been outfitted with contemporary features such as solar shades, under-counter lighting and electric vehicle charging stations.
2000 Ross Avenue
Mixed-use developments combining retail and residential spaces are a hallmark of 21st-century urban renewal efforts. 2000 Ross is a project of local developer Stream Realty Partners. Although it’s currently under construction, this block-length, 32,000-square-foot complex will feature a 26-story residential tower containing more than 350 apartments. Stream is hopeful this development will complement the nearby Arts District. In fact, 2000 Ross will be situated less than a block away from the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.
The Jordan is a 23-story high-rise that houses more than 200 pet-friendly apartments. The Jordan is perched on the edge of Uptown’s State-Thomas neighborhood just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway. That places The Jordan within walking distance of a number of downtown’s most popular destinations, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park and the Arts District. The Jordan offers one- and two-bedroom floor plans, including some penthouse units that open up onto some spectacular downtown vistas.
Bleu Ciel Living
Although these luxury condominiums are still in the process of being constructed, units in this 33-story tower are currently on the market. Blue Ciel’s developers chose their Victory Park site between Reverchon and Pike parks due in part to its walkability. The building, created by Paris-based architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, will be edged in blue and feature water prominently in the form of two Olympic-size pools. The lower floors are reserved for terraced “Garden Homes” that promise owners “the potential to landscape their very own urban garden.”
The Davis Building
The Davis Building, like its neighbors Neiman Marcus, The Majestic Theatre and The Adolphus Hotel, has a rich and distinguished history. From the 1920s through the 1950s, it served as the headquarters for the Republic National Bank. Later, it provided offices for tech giant Texas Instruments. The building’s architect, C.D. Hill, was a Dallas native also responsible for the design of the Fair Park Coliseum. The building was renovated and converted into more than 180 loft apartments in 2003, making manager Hamilton Properties something of a pioneer in terms of the downtown residential development. Prospective residents have 65 unique floor plans from which to choose, all of which preserve historic elements of the original structure. The Davis Building also provides direct access to the Dallas tunnel system, making getting around downtown that much easier.
The Cypress at Trinity Groves
While not technically situated in downtown, Trinity Groves is Dallas’ most rapidly up-and-coming neighborhood. Accessible by car via the already-iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and on foot via the now pedestrian-exclusive Continental Avenue Bridge, Trinity Groves is both an urban park unlike any other in Dallas and the western gateway to downtown. The neighborhood features unique retail, art galleries and dining experiences thanks to the on-site incubator program created by Philip Romano. The Cypress provides ready access to all these amenities and opened in December of 2016. Even with five stories featuring almost 350 apartments (from studios to three-bedroom units spanning more than 1,500 square feet), vacancies are sure to be in short supply.